Wednesday, August 3, 2016


It’s been a (relatively) long time coming, but after two weeks of taking overseas by storm, the phenomenal hit mobile game “Pokémon Go” finally graced the birthplace of its top-selling mother franchise in Japan last Friday July 22. And despite fears of yet another crash due to the large number of added players, everything (thus far) has been cool.

Techcrunch reports that the launch of the app game developed by Niantic and featuring the eponymous cute little monsters conceived by The Pokémon Company for Nintendo, has long been anticipated by increasingly impatient Japanese Pokémon fans. This is also the first launch of the app in the Asian region, and will likely signal the start for other Asian countries to get ready to Catch ‘Em All.

Needless to say, just like everywhere else the mobile game has struck, it has become the most-downloaded in Japan. And already forewarned by reports of service complaints, accidents, crimes and other strange stuff occurring while busy with “Pokémon Go” overseas, the safety-minded Japanese government has begun distributing a one-page safety guide through its National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cyber Security (NISC). The guide, filled with little walls of text and cute graphic illustrations, presents nine simple tips to maximize enjoyment and safety while playing the game, with suggestions ranging from carrying extra battery packs (the app is a bit of an energy hog) and never signing up for the game using real names, to keeping an eye out for the weather (to avoid heatstroke) and never staring at your phone too long while walking at the same time.

In addition, fast food franchise giant McDonald’s has entered into a lucrative sponsorship tie-up with the Japan product launch, according to CBC. (As a matter of fact, it was supposedly leaked reports of this fact that may have spurred Nintendo and Niantic to scrub the original Japan launch date on Wednesday July 20.) Now, an estimated 400 out of the franchise’s 2,900 Japan restaurants have been designated on the GPS maps used in “Pokémon Go” as “Gyms” where players can battle each other using their Pokémon. The remaining 2,500 on the other hand are now “Poke-Stops” where visiting players can freely stock up on their supply of Pokémon-catching Poke-balls and other in-game sundry items at regular timed intervals. It’s definitely an effective strategy to get Pokémon fans with their apps to stop by at a McDonald’s for items or battles, and maybe have a snack too.

Shortly after launched a video message was released by the “Pokémon Go” Japan website featuring Jyunichi Matsuda of Game Freak Inc. which developed the original “Pokémon” video games for Nintendo, and Niantic CEO John Hanke. Both expressed their happiness at the successful launch of the app in Japan, and encouraged its gamers to “look at the world around them” as they played on their quest to be a Pokémon Master.

Photo Credit to